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 The Case for Producing Low-Copper Steel with Ballistic Separators

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تاريخ التسجيل : 16/01/2012
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مُساهمةموضوع: The Case for Producing Low-Copper Steel with Ballistic Separators   الخميس مايو 17, 2018 2:58 pm

Ballistic separators are now used in shredding yards, steel mills and slag processing facilities throughout North America. Facilities using ballistic separators report increased revenues and reduced overhead.
Mike Shattuck and Chris Ramsdell
Today’s steel mills seek shredded auto scrap with low copper content. While there are a number of options, a ballistic separator provides significant advantages over other recovery systems. More than 40 percent of the world’s steel production is made from recycled ferrous scrap. However, there are four unwelcome elements plaguing this scrap: copper, nickel, chrome and manganese.
Low copper content is critical to steel mills because copper causes loss of ductility at 1,050° to 1,200°C. Copper produces surface defects along the entire process, especially during casting and rolling. Since copper also has a low affinity to oxygen and cannot be removed from the steel melt, steel mills may need to add elements—such as nickel—to offset the copper. This process equates to more time and money.
Hand Sorting
E40 scrap should be manually picked to produce a 0.25 to 0.33 percent copper, which is considered a typical low copper shred for lines that perform hand sorting only. However, manual sorting processes produce irregular results. Steel mills are more demanding than ever: the low-copper specification for U.S. mills is now 0.17 percent copper.
Gamma Scrap Analyzer
This approach provides real-time feedback to shredder operators to manage feedstock and reduce copper. It also produces certified loads for some of the most demanding specifications. However, the gamma scrap analyzer has no sorting capabilities, provides no reduction to labor and requires substantial capital costs. Feedstock needs to be manipulated to generate the desired product. Blending higher dollar feedstock can be very costly and time consuming. Results have been recorded with 0.13 to 0.15 percent copper content. However, gamma copper content is driven by customer demand. If a customer requests 0.18 copper content, that is what is delivered.
Scrap Drum with Variable Rectifier
A scrap drum with variable rectifier uses reduced magnetic strength to drop copper-bearing meatballs. While an automated sorting process offers reduced hand picking with a low capital investment, it is difficult to tune. As any electromagnet heats up throughout the day, it loses strength, which increases the potential for dropped steel. Overall, other technologies offer better reduction in terms of both labor and copper content.
X-tract X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Separator
The X-tract X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Separator offers spectroscopic elemental analysis. It is an automated sorting process that reduces hand picking labor. It is capable of ejecting large copper meatballs (up to 20 lbs.). Nonetheless, this spectroscopic elemental analysis approach can detect only exposed copper. The capital investment for this equipment is high, material reject is not very effective and burdens must be shallow.
Ballistic Separator
A ballistic separator is established in the field as a fast belt, high magnetic attraction, charged trajectory method to produce low copper content steel. It uses ballistics to separate iron-rich ferrous from mixed metals in the post-drum magnet flow. This is a low-investment process that cuts hand picking labor in half. With its ability to eject both large and small copper meatballs and other copper bearing material, a ballistic separator typically increases copper pickings from 8 to 14 lbs. per ton. An average melt result for a ballistic separator is 0.16 to 0.17 percent copper. Chart 1 shows a typical ferrous system layout. A ballistic separator also offers low operating costs, requires no air and uses very little electricity. The key to optimal recovery is ensuring that the burden material is loose and evenly spread across the width of the machine. Since a ballistic separator is entirely automated, hand picking labor becomes more focused and efficient. Scrap dealers with a capacity of 400 tons per day are reporting the need for only two pickers, which represents a reduction of 50 percent when compared to strictly relying on hand sorting.

Increased Revenues and Reduced Overhead
Ballistic separators are now used in shredding yards, steel mills and slag processing facilities throughout North America. These innovative separators use ballistics to upgrade frag by segregating the copper bearing materials from the rest of the ferrous materials. Facilities using ballistic separators report increased revenues and reduced overhead.
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The Case for Producing Low-Copper Steel with Ballistic Separators
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